The bill establishes a Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer Governing Council for the military to provide policy oversight to ensure the responsible, coordinated, and ethical employment of data and artificial intelligence capabilities across Department of Defense (DOD) operations and missions. The Department’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer (CDAO) will head the Council.
Among the many duties assigned to the CDAO under the bill are cybersecurity-related tasks, including:
Manage AI digital assets by providing “the digital infrastructure and procurement vehicles necessary to manage data assets and data analytics capabilities at scale to enable an understanding of foreign key terrain and relational frameworks in cyberspace to support the planning of cyber operations, the generation of indications and warnings regarding military operations and capabilities, and the calibration of actions and reactions in strategic competition.”
Develop an AI bug bounty program for foundational artificial intelligence models integrated into the missions and operations of the DOD.
Implement and oversee an educational program on data and artificial intelligence to familiarize personnel department-wide with the applications of artificial intelligence.
The bill also requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a strategic plan for the development, use, and cybersecurity of generative artificial intelligence, including a policy governing the use of, and the defense against, adversarial use of, generative artificial intelligence. It further requires the Defense Secretary to complete a study “to assess the functionality of artificial intelligence-enabled military applications, research and development needs related to such applications, and vulnerabilities to the privacy, security, and accuracy of such applications.”
In terms of the State Department, the bill establishes an office of a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, who will, among other things, act as the principal advisor to the Secretary of State on the ethical use of AI and advanced analytics in conducting data-informed diplomacy. It also establishes a program, the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, and promotes best practices and common standards for a national approach to cybersecurity.
The bill further establishes in the State Department a cyberspace, digital connectivity, and related technologies (CDT) fund to advance a secure and stable cyberspace by, among other things, helping countries prepare for, defend against, and respond to malicious cyber activities and adopt national strategies to enhance cybersecurity.
Other noteworthy NDAA cybersecurity provisions
Of the many other provisions in the NDAA that mention cybersecurity, the following are worth noting: